Santander Relaxes Grad Scheme Requirements; 2:1 No Longer Needed

Photo Credits - Jade Arubi via Unsplash

To improve socioeconomic diversity, Santander UK has removed the requirement of having achieved a 2:1 undergraduate degree for their graduate schemes. This is done with the hope of allowing more applicants to apply to their graduate schemes.

It is believed by them that academic performance at university does not necessarily guarantee performance and success in the workplace. By dropping this academic requirement, the recruitment process will focus on other factors that applicants will have to offer.

Recent research by KPMG UK shows that socioeconomic background is the biggest factor in determining an individual’s career progression. Having efforts to boost socioeconomic diversity in the workplace will allow social and economic mobility for more young people across the UK.

This recent decision is very much a welcome one that will allow more graduates to explore graduate programmes that will help shape the early stages of their careers.

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Santander UK Graduate Scheme

According to their company website, Santander UK offers a variety of graduate schemes across several departments. Salaries are offered from £31,000 and they also offer continuous development programmes and the potential for pay rises after a period for some positions.

Departments within Santander UK that offer graduate schemes are Internal Audit, HR, Corporate and Commercial Banking, Finance and Risk. These graduate roles will mainly be based in their new Milton Keynes office, with some roles across the UK or in their London office.

The more inclusive academic requirement that has been recently implemented will hopefully lead to 64,000 more applicants for their graduate schemes from this year onwards.

Social Mobility Employer Index

As employment is one of the key factors in determining social mobility, the Social Mobility Foundation has done the research for the publication of the annual Social Mobility Employer Index. This index shows how employers are performing in the eight areas of social mobility. These areas are:

  1. Work with young people
  2. Employment routes
  3. Attraction
  4. Recruitment and selection
  5. Data collection
  6. Progression, culture and experienced hires
  7. Advocacy
  8. Employee survey

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These areas are used by the organisation to determine how well employers are contributing to the cause. Within this index, Santander UK is ranked number 40 in 2022.

This index found that there has been an increase of employers conducting outreach work by 12% from the 2021 numbers. The number of participants who admitted that people get ahead at their workplace due to their connections has also lowered by 26% from the previous year.

However, improvements in social mobility efforts are still needed. The research found that although there are outreach efforts, 89% were done in England and there are very few organisations that have done outreach in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland. Additionally, the proportion of companies offering apprenticeships has also fallen from 85% to 79%.

There is still a lot to do to further advance social mobility, including for young talent and graduates. With many firms relaxing academic requirements, hopefully, more will follow suit to create a more inclusive and diverse workforce that can allow for more socioeconomic mobility for individuals across the UK.


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